We have a lab-mix dog who loves the water so a day at the beach is all about her! Finding a dog-friendly beach in northern Michigan, however, can be tricky. That’s why I put together a list of our favorite beaches where you and your dog can swim, run, and play in the sand!
Harbor Springs: Zoll Street Beach
This popular dog beach is at the end of Zoll Street on Little Traverse Bay. The beach is entirely dog friendly with shallow water which is perfect for any dog to splash in. There’s a nice grassy area for a picnic and plenty of beach sand. Your dog will meet lots of new friends to play with on any given day.
Map It: Zoll St, Harbor Springs, MI 49740
Petoskey: Bayfront Park
Leashed dogs are welcome at this city park, but this beach is not that desirable for swimming. The Bear River flows through this spot and the breakwall is on the left. It will do in a pinch if your dog needs to cool off.
Map It: 201 Wachtel Ave, Petoskey, MI 49770
Boyne City: Glenwood Beach
Glenwood Beach is at the end of Glenwood Beach Drive or is also accessible from Lake Charlevoix. Leashed dogs are welcome at this shallow which is great for dogs and young kids. Be mindful of a drop off – it goes from 3 feet deep to 60 feet deep within steps!
Map It: 3380 Glenwood Beach Dr, Boyne City, MI 49712
Charlevoix: Fisherman’s Island State Park
This is one of our favorite places to spend the day with our dog. Follow the park road all the way to end which is the day use area. Be mindful of the signs designating where dogs are allowed! The are closest to the parking lot is off limits, but tthe west end of the beach is dog-friendly (closer to the island).
Map It: 16480 Bells Bay Rd, Charlevoix, MI 49720
Indian River: Burt Lake State Park
About 30 miles south of Mackinaw City, this state park is part of Michigan’s Inland Waterway and has a section of pet-friendly shoreline. Pets must be leashed.
Map It: 6635 State Park Dr, Indian River, MI 49749
Where Else are Dogs Allowed?
The Michigan DNR says it welcomes dogs at state parks, recreation areas, forests and campgrounds. Pets are also allowed on non-designated bathing beach areas along the shoreline and on the majority of trails. There are some places where pets are not allowed so always check beach and trailhead signage to make sure that pets are allowed.
There are some nature preserves that have lake or stream access. Check the Little Traverse Conservancy website for details on dog-friendly trails in Charlevoix, Chippewa, Cheboygan, Emmet and Mackinac counties.
Explore Mackinac Island With Your Dog!
Did you know dogs are welcome on the ferry to Mackinac Island? Since there are no cars on the island, walk the island trails and roadways with your dog.